Ethics Matters News

Although there remain major problems with the County’s new ethics law and the numerous questionable provisions that the State Ethics Commission has not yet approved, Ethics Matters is pleased to report that two of our recent concerns (below) have been addressed. Another positive development is that at their last meeting, the Queen Anne’s County Ethics Commission unanimously voted to have a public comment period at the beginning and end of each meeting.

Financial Disclosure Forms
The changes in the financial disclosure form that Ethics Matters suggested were approved and put in place by the Ethics Commission. The Ethics Commission voted to send the new forms out by registered mail with a cover letter making sure the recipients were aware of their obligation to return the completed forms by April 10.

There are others besides the specified current officials and employees who must complete the financial disclosure form:
Candidates for County Commissioner must file the financial form simultaneously with their registration for candidacy with the Board of Elections.

Any official or employee who leaves an office that requires financial disclosure must file, within 30 days after the departure date, the financial form that includes all information up to the date of departure.          
 Any person newly appointed to an office that requires financial disclosure must file, with his/her acceptance, the financial disclosure form containing all the necessary information for the previous year.
The Board of Elections is now giving out the financial disclosure forms to candidates along with the other necessary information for filing.  Ethics Matters will be looking into whether those who vacate an office or are appointed to an office requiring financial disclosure are aware of and are following the law.<o:p></o:p></SPAN></FONT></P>
Human Resources Code - Conflicts of Interest
The County Commissioners amended the unacceptable provision of  the proposed Human Resources Code to make it clear that the “employee’s appointing authority” has no jurisdiction over determining whether outside employment presents a financial conflict of interest with County employment.  Such a determination is the responsibility of the independent Ethics Commission.
March 21, 2006
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Posted on 21 Mar 2006 by admin
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